American Philosophical Society
Member History

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205. Microbiology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Robin A. Weiss
 Institution:  University College London
 Year Elected:  2018
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  205. Microbiology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1940
Robin Weiss is Emeritus Professor of Viral Oncology at University College London. He has spent most of his career conducting research on oncogenic viruses and on HIV. He is noted for his contributions to the discovery of endogenous retroviral genomes and for identifying CD4 as the HIV receptor. His expanded his research on avian endogenous retroviruses inherited through the host genome to consider mammalian retroviruses including the potential infection hazard by these agents in xenotransplantation of pig tissues to humans. He studied viral oncogenes and viruses involved in AIDS-linked malignancies such as Kaposi’s sarcoma. He showed that in dogs, a sexually transmitted tumor cell clone emerged around 10,000 years ago which has colonized dogs worldwide and continues to spread as a ‘parasite’. He applied pseudotype techniques originally devised for retroviruses to the study of receptors and antibody neutralization for other viruses such as influenza, rabies and ebola. He recently exploited single-chain llama nanobodies for HIV vaccines and diagnostics and he currently investigates the history of infectious diseases. Weiss was Director of Research at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, 1980-1999, and was President of the Society for General Microbiology, 2006-2009. He has chaired the Scientific Advisory Board of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and served on the Board of Directors of the Africa Health Research Institute and on the Nuffield Council for Bioethics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.
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